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cviolante

Review of the Spirit 7/3 to7/10-Part 2

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Day 4:

Juneau. Started out rainy, so I want a bought a better coat. We took the Glacier Express bus to the Mendenhall Glacier ($5 each way…a very good deal). By the time we got there, the rain had quit, and it had turned into a fairly decent day. We had hope to hike toward the water fall, but by the time we really started, we realized that we wouldn’t have time, as we had to be back on board by 1:30. Mendenhall was as beautiful as usual.

 

We left at 2:00 for Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier. This had to be one of the highlights. The 1.5 hours up Tracy Arm is gorgeous. It looks very much like the fjords of Norway. Sawyer Glacier itself is stunning with a beautiful dark blue hue. There were icebergs everywhere, and dozens of seals. One of my traveling companions even got a close-up picture of a mama seal giving birth. It was quite amazing. Just before arrival at the Glacier, we had our Chocoholic buffet. There was a lot of variety, and NCL did a very nice job. Many in our group got sick from eating so much, and a couple actually skipped dinner. My wife and I only had a little bite of chocolate, so we decided to try the Bistro. This had a $15/person cover charge. We opted to spend $5 in addition to the cover charge in order to get the surf and turf: filet mignon and two complete lobster tails. Mine was wonderful, (the steak was small but delicious) but my wife’s steak was a little overdone. Overall though, a very nice meal.

 

The show (at least I think it was this night was Jane L. Powell. This lady has an amazing vocal range. I didn’t enjoy the show as much as others have…she tends to “change” the songs she’s singing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing…it’s just something I personally don’t care for. If that doesn’t bother you, plan on seeing her.

 

Day 5 :

Skagway. We took a wonderful tour with Skagway Float Tours. We went on a nearly two mile hike on the Chilkoot Trail, and then floated on a raft down the Dyea River for about 40 minutes. This cost was $80 for the adults, and $60 for the kids. I believe this is the exact same tour that costs $110 on the ship for both adults and kids. If you are thinking of this tour, I highly recommend Skagway Float Tours. Our guide, Joe, was very friendly, great with the kids, and stopped often to point out interesting things like bear scratches on a tree (we didn’t actually see any, thank goodness!). We saw gorgeous scenery, and had an outstanding time. One note: the first part of the hike is about 300 feet up, and then 300 feet down. It wasn’t REAL hard, but it was a surprise to us (their website describes it as moderately hard…it guess I didn’t really know what that meant). Anyhow, just take that into account.

 

Day 6:

Prince Rupert. What can I say about Prince Rupert? You probably want to consider an excursion, because there is really next to nothing to do in town. There’s a small shopping area very near where the ship docks, and then more downtown. Downtown is mostly normal retail shops (not meant for tourists). There was an RCMP officer near the ship for picture taking, and many folks seemed to be taking advantage of it.

 

Day 7:

At sea. Another relaxing day, but another day of activities mostly designed to coax more money out of the passengers. We sailed on the west side of Vancouver Island, not the inside passage, but the seas were very calm.

 

For lunch, all nine of us ate at the Teppenyaki restaurant (this is where the chef prepares the meal at the grill that you all sit around. The extra charge for this restaurant was $10 to $15 each, depending upon what you ordered. We had tried to get reservations several times for dinner during the cruise, but it was never possible to get one for all nine of us. Finally, we were told that it is never busy for lunch on the last day at sea, and they were right! So, if you’re having trouble getting a reservation, there’s your answer! The food was delicious, and everyone had a great time watching the chef. By the way…the green tea ice cream was delicious!

 

Disembarkation:

This was far and away the nicest disembarkation I have ever experienced. I really like the way NCL does it. I slept until 8:00, got some breakfast, and went back to my cabin. Within 5 minutes, my color luggage tag was called, and within 20 minutes I was in a cab headed home. Kudos to NCL! This sure beats the other cruise lines that kick you out of your stateroom and expect you to sit around some public room for up to three hours.

 

Overall summary:

We had a very good time. The cruise was certainly not perfect, but then none are. The biggest complaint for me was the wait time for dinner. The most pleasant surprise was how good the food was, especially in Windows. The ship was gorgeous, and the staff generally attentive. I’ll be happy to answer any questions anyone has, to the best of my ability.

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Welcome home.. sounds like you had a great time :)

 

How many ships does NCL have in Alaska anyway? Sun. Star, Spirit? anyother ones? It is neat to see the other ships in port.

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